Last week we tried a few recipes out of Rocco Dispirito’s, “Now Eat This!“. I’m still making my way through the book, but wanted to share a couple that we had that were REALLY simple to put together, and packed full of flavor.
I opted not to make Rocco’s marinara sauce. Pretty sure it would have been easy to throw together…but it was even easier to use my FAVORITE Trader Joe’s “Three Cheese” sauce, ready made.
I know I’ve shared this tip before. Whenever a recipe calls for chicken breasts to be “pounded thin”, to save yourself a headache (as well as the possibility of pounded chicken ending up on your ceiling) throw it in a large Ziplock bag. Be sure you squeeze the air out, then start hitting the heck out of it. Pretend its that 10th load of laundry you REALLY don’t want to do…it helps a bit. When you’re done, just throw the bag away.
Now IF you have a husband that needs a little more than a chicken breast and salad for dinner, right about now would be a good time to throw on a pot of water for pasta. My Genius Sister in Law, left this pasta at our house while they were staying with us and I have to say, it will be making a return visit! Good for you AND yummy!
Forgot to grab a pic of this next step, toss each chicken breast onto the grill or a grill pan (which is what I did) for 3 minutes, flipping 1/2 way through. While that was cooking, I grated the cheese, chopped the basil and used ready cut canned tomatoes. Pour a little sauce in your baking dish and transfer your now ready chicken (remember 3 minutes, love a quick dinner!). Layer the remaining sauce, tomatoes, basil and cheese.
It will look like this.
Throw it in the oven (it will bake for a whopping 10-12 minutes).
(Your pasta water will be boiling now, pretty sure you know what to do with the pasta…..but let me know if not!)
Just before it is done, sprinkle the panko to finish it off.
This is what will come out of your oven.
Oh, HELLO! Are you MY dinner???
(and for the record, this is a 9 x 13 baking dish and that is only 2 chicken breasts pounded thin. This amply fed hubs, me and the 2 littles. And between you and me, I forgot that the recipe called for “4” chicken breasts, which now explains why there was loads of extra goodness left in the dish!! Would have made for good leftovers!! Oops!)
I served ours over the pasta with a small side salad of spinach, feta, slivered almonds and Girrard’s Champagne Vinergerette.
Adapted from Roco Dispirito’s, “Now Eat This!“
Grilled Chicken Parmigiano:
Nonstick cooking spray
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat and pounded thin
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups Rocco’s Marinara Sauce (I used Trader Joes “Three Cheese”)
1 cup drained canned ready cut tomatoes
1 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
1 cup shredded low fat Mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmigiana Reggiano cheese
1/2 cups whole wheat panko crumbs (I just used regular Panko)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat. Season chicken with salt & pepper to taste (but for sure don’t actually TASTE it – you knew that though!!)
- When the grill is hot, spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray, and grill just until cooked through about 3 minutes total. Remember to flip them 1/2 way through.
- Spread a little less than half of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Lay the grilled chicken breasts on top of the sauce. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the chicken, scatter the chopped tomatoes over the top. Sprinkle with 1/2 the chopped basil, the mozzarella, and the Parm.
- Bake the chicken until the cheese has melted and is beginning to brown, 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle the panko and the remaining basil and serve!
Enjoy this super quick, super easy, super flavorful dish!!